A number of years ago when my four sons were teenagers, for sale the family took an unexpected trip from our home in the Boston, MA area to Pittsburg, PA. It came about because my son Jason (a die hard Braves baseball fan) found tickets for the 7th game in the playoffs. I promised that if he got the tickets, I would drive. The promise was kept and this unexpected adventure became part of our family store of memories. I will cut right to one of the ‘highlights of the story’ and be as brief as I can without leaving out the important facts. Our Volkswagen van was old and had already transported us to a few other ballparks in a very short period of time (two in Canada!). However, this trip would find us on the side of the road with a broken tie rod – in the middle of the night miles away from any city! After hours of walking and hitchhiking, I was able to locate a service station. Help from a local agent of AAA was soon on his way to pick me up. He located the van and brought it to HIS HOUSE! His wife fed our family while he and I went to a local junkyard for the needed parts (did I mention it was a holiday weekend?). Jason fell in love with one of the puppies at the farm. We picked up this puppy on our way back home. We named her ‘Tie’ after the broken tie rod.
During our time at this man’s house, I mentioned to the gentleman that I thought the area around his home was ‘awesome’. He quickly changed his smile to a look that was very serious and said: “Only the Lord God is awesome – I never use that word with anyone or thing. You should never use that word – unless it is to lift and praise Him.” To this day, I have followed his advice and think of his remark when I hear or read that word used for anything else but to glorify our Lord God.
I also believe that Jason (now Reverend Doctor Jason) also holds that word at a different level. Take the time to look up the word ‘awesome’ in your Bible concordance – I believe you will agree with us that the word awesome belongs only to our Lord God. A quick sidebar: On the way, we were cheering the Braves team and I realized that if they did win that game 6 there would be no game 7 for us to attend! Luck for us they lost it — not so lucky for them because they ended up losing both games. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Today I have a collection of comments that have been written to me by way of e-mails on Facebook and Classmates.com. My book, Heading Toward the Final Finish Line, is affecting readers the way I had prayed and hoped it would. Christians are understanding the need to share the ‘Good News’ when they are with runners; people are better able to understand what runners go through as they train and race; and many write that they want to get back in shape and NOW feel that it is not too late to do so! Some of the comments state that the book “…inspires them to press on in their faith and in the sport of running.”, “…encourages and strengthens their faith.”, and one shared “…the book helped me understand what runners are really like.”, and another wrote, “Your testimony is awesome.” No, it is not ‘awesome’- but I appreciated the compliment. One woman in her 50s shared that after reading the book she took up running and is now up to two miles a day…Another in her 70s wants to now run a 5k before she dies! Another reader now sees living life ‘one finish line at a time’ and feels that each points to the final finish line and puts it in perspective of importance. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In closing, I want to share how our Lord has opened up doors around the world for people — runners and walkers aiming toward the ‘final finish line’ are now being reached through this book. As of mid-2009, the book is being offered in six countries besides the USA! Distributors in France, Italy, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and India are now offering the book. IN ADDITION! The book is being offered on a number of websites such as: www.Amazon.com , www.Christianbook.com , www.bn.com (Barnes & Noble), www.Borders.com, www.Target.com , and www.BooksAMillioin.com . Little did I know when I felt moved to encourage people both physically and spiritually that the book would reach out to so many and to such distance. To this I say, “Be prayed up, show up (with your gifts / talents), and let our Lord do the rest.” I showed up at my desk and wrote – trained and ran races across America while all of the time being willing and available to share my testimony and the Word of our Lord. My love for the Lord, for running and for the many people that I met along the way energized me to write the book. I pray that you will get and read the book (parts are free to read on Google Book Search) and share its message. Hope to see you at the ‘final finish line’ of Heaven!